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Build Muscle and Improve Balance with T’ai Chi

T'ai Chi can help older people improve balance, which can protect them from falling and breaking their bones. It is also a safe way to build muscle strength. Older people lose coordination and are at increased risk for falling. T'ai Chi is a specific training program aimed at teaching people how to maintain balance...

Can Intense Exercise Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack?

The American Heart Association has cautioned that, "Exercise, particularly when performed by unfit individuals, can acutely increase the risk of sudden cardiac death and acute myocardial infarction in susceptible people." However, a recent review of 48 research articles found no reduction in lifespan, no matter how much a person exercises

Muscle Cramps: Prevention and Treatment

Muscle cramps occur most often at night when you are sleeping, but they also can occur when you exercise vigorously, tear a muscle, or keep one leg in an awkward position, such as sitting in a chair in the same position for a long time. Muscle cramps are classified into those that occur during exercise and those that can occur at any time not related to exercise, usually at night.

Mitochondria and Gut Bacteria Work Together for More Endurance

Endurance training for six weeks in humans and mammals has been shown to increase mitochondrial content from 30 to 100 percent and volume density up to 40 percent.

Eat to Compete

What you eat before and during a major competition can affect your performance enough to give you an edge over your peers. The days of "carbohydrate loading" are gone, but now athletes are being lured to try the LCHF fad -- a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.

Sleep to Recover from Hard Exercise

Sleeping can help to prevent exercise injuries. Healthy U.S. soldiers in training are less likely to suffer exercise-related injuries such as fractures, sprains and muscle strains when they sleep at least eight hours at night.

How To Run Faster

If you don't run very fast in practice, you won't be able to run very fast in races.

Is Napping Healthful?

Power napping for an hour can help you to learn, remember and interpret more efficiently. The frequency of daytime napping increases with age, and up to 70 percent of older adults around the world take daytime naps.

Should You Breathe Through Your Nose or Your Mouth When You Exercise?

Just about everyone with an unobstructed nose will breathe through their nose when at rest or during casual activities, but most people will breathe through their mouth during exercise. The more intensely you exercise, the more likely that you will have to breathe through your mouth because you may not be able to get enough air through your nose to feel comfortable back of your mouth.

Families with Diabetes Produce Strong Athletes

A study from Italy confirms that elite track and field athletes who have a family history of diabetes have larger muscles, weigh more, and are better athletes (Springerplus, 2014;3:224). Forty six young male élite athletes were tested; thirteen with a family history of diabetes and thirty-three without. The athletes were asked to pedal or...

How to Get Your Second Wind

When you run very fast, you reach a point where you gasp for breath. You keep on pushing the pace and after a few seconds, you feel that you have recovered and that you can pick up the pace again. It’s called second wind and your apparent recovery is caused by lactic acid.

High Blood Sugar Limits Benefits from Exercise

A study from Harvard Medical School shows that a high rise in blood sugar after meals can limit increases in your ability to take in and use oxygen during exercise. This means that if your diet causes high blood sugar levels when you eat, you lose one of the major health benefits of exercise.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common injuries in tennis and jogging is plantar fasciitis, pain on the bottom of the heel. A band of tissue called the plantar fascia extends from your five toes, along the bottom of your foot to attach on the bottom of your heel. When you run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia.

Slowing Loss of Bone and Muscle Strength with Aging

In a review of 37 studies of men and women over 60, researchers found that a proper exercise program enlarged and strengthened the muscles in 93 percent of the participants (Osteoporosis International, March 1, 2017).

Recreational Exercise Better Than Physically Active Jobs

A new study from Denmark shows that while leisure-time physical activity is associated with reduced heart attack risk, occupational physical activity is associated with increased risk. Participants with leisure-time physical activity had a 15 percent reduced risk for heart attacks, while those with heavy physical activity at work had a 35 percent increased risk.

Exercise Every Day or Every Other Day?

The old guideline recommending 30 minutes of exercise three times a week just isn't enough, according to the latest research. Athletes know that they need to work out every day, and all people who just want to stay healthy can benefit from the same type of exercise program.

Dizziness in Athletes

Athletes and other very fit people may feel dizzy when they rise from lying to standing because of their slow pulse rates. Exercise makes your heart stronger so it can pump more blood with each beat and it doesn't have to beat as often.

How Inactivity Can Cause Heart Failure

People who lie in bed without moving day after day suffer progressive weakening of their heart muscle. Eventually the heart becomes too weak to pump enough oxygen to the brain, they stop breathing and die from heart failure. A recent study on mice shows how this is likely to happen.

Exercise Promotes Good Gut Bacteria

Good bacteria that live in your gut can help to keep you healthy, while the bad colon bacteria increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. Exercise encourages the growth of good bacteria in your colon and reduces the number of bad ones.

Recovery: the Key to Improvement in Your Sport

If you want to become stronger and faster and have greater endurance, you need to exercise so intensely on one day that you damage your muscles and feel sore on the next day and then train at a reduced intensity for as many days as it takes for your muscles to heal and the soreness to lessen. Then you take your next intense workout.

More Reasons to Exercise as You Grow Older

Muscles are made up of thousands of muscle fibers just as a rope is made up of many strands. Each muscle fiber has a nerve that innervates it. With aging you can lose nerve fibers that, in turn, cause you to lose the corresponding muscle fibers, but exercising against resistance will make the remaining muscle fibers larger so they can generate more force. The repetition of a regular and consistent training program teaches your brain how to contract your muscles more efficiently.

Calculate Your Fitness Age

VO2max can be used to predict a person’s risk of premature death from a heart attack. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have developed a simple way to estimate a person’s VO2max, his maximal ability to take in and use oxygen.

Jump Higher

When former NBA player Kent Benson arrived at the University of Indiana he could jump only nine inches off the ground. That's an embarrassing jump for a seven-foot All- American. One year later, he was able to jump three times that high because he had a good coach. How high you can jump is determined...

Keep Moving for a Longer and Better Life

Everyone should try to keep on moving their muscles every day. Sitting around for long periods of time can cause you to become diabetic and increase your risk for a heart attack, and lying in bed for long periods puts you at increased risk for heart failure and premature death

Drink Sugar and Caffeine Only During Vigorous Exercise

I have often recommended that exercisers take a sugared, caffeinated soft drink for a performance boost during prolonged vigorous exercise. I still think this is good advice, but people who are exercising at a casual pace for an extended time may want to restrict their intake of soft drinks

Restricting Carbohydrates Slows You Down

Restricting carbohydrates with a keto diet or fasting will tire you earlier when you exercise. Many studies show that low-carbohydrate diets impair performance in sports that require speed. On a low-carbohydrate diet, you can't train very fast and you can't move as fast in races.

Bicycles Are Most Energy Efficient

A positive outcome of the many COVID-19 restrictions has been a huge boom in bicycling. If you are a regular cyclist or are new to the sport, be proud. Humans riding on bicycles are more energy-efficient than any other form of transportation and any other animal. Vance Tucker of Duke University compared bicyclists to people and animals running, birds flying and fish swimming, as well as to people in motor-powered cars, boats, trains and planes

Brain Benefits from Exercise

Three new studies help us understand the many good things that exercise does for your brain. The first study shows that a regular exercise program alters blood flow to the brain to improve mental function in older people who suffer from mild cognitive impairment that often precedes dementia. The second study shows that exercise can improve thinking skills in people of all ages. The third study shows that exercise-induced muscle changes may help to boost mood in older adults

Belly Cramps During Exercise

The most common cause of belly cramps during exercise is having a full colon. The best way to prevent exercise-induced belly cramps is to completely empty your colon before you start to exercise. Belly cramps are rarely caused by having food in your stomach. To meet their energy needs, bicycle racers have to eat...

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament runs from the top bone of the knee to the bottom one and prevents the top bone from sliding forward when the foot hits the ground during running and walking. If it is torn, the knee becomes so unstable that a person will have difficulty walking, so all torn anterior...